Jacob Loves Rachel

Bible Background

Workshops in this lesson set :

Art – Make a God Bless our Home wall hanging
Computers – Use the Bibleland.com cd to study the lesson
Cooking – Make Ice Cream
Drama – Use puppets to role play
Games – Play Bible Trivia
Movies – watch selected parts of Jacob, “The Bible Collection” by Warner Brothers
Science – Make a “Comeback Can”
Storytelling – Hear the story read from point of view of one of their children


Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55
Story centers on Genesis 29:1-30

Memory Verse:

“Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 TEV

What's Going on here?
Jacob is the grandson of Abraham and Sarah. He is the younger twin son of Isaac and Rebekah. According to tradition, Jacob’s older brother Esau should have received most of the family’s inheritance, including the birthright and his father’s blessing. Jacob, however, tricked his brother out of both of these benefits.
Jacob leaves home for two reasons. First of all, he is afraid that when their elderly father dies, Esau in his anger will kill him (Genesis 27:42-45). Secondly, (and the reason given to Isaac) is that he is ready to seek a wife, and will go to his mother’s people near Haran (Genesis 27:46-28:5). Specifically, he is instructed by his father to, “take as wife from there one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.” Along the way he has a dream about angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven, and he hears God promise him that the promises made to Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah--the promise of land, many descendents, and God’s blessing--will be given to him (28:10-22).

What is the story?
As Jacob nears Haran, he speaks to some shepherds who know Laban’s family and point out Laban’s daughter Rachel, who is coming with some sheep. Jacob is love-struck! He is welcomed by Laban’s family and--in the day when a woman was treated like the property of her father--Jacob agreed to work for Laban for seven years as the price for marrying Rachel. The author of Genesis tells us, “they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29:20). Laban tricked Jacob, however, and at the wedding substituted her heavily-veiled sister, Leah. Laban insisted that it was customary that the older daughter should marry first, and if he still wanted to marry Rachel he would have to work another seven years for her! In those days it was considered acceptable for a man to have more than one wife, but this caused jealousy and tension between the women. It was especially a problem because Rachel had trouble conceiving a child. She ended up having two sons--Joseph (yes, the one with the colorful coat) and Benjamin. She died while giving birth to Benjamin (see Genesis 35:16-20). Between Rachel and Leah (and their maids who by custom could give birth on their behalf!) Jacob had twelve sons. The twelve tribes of Israel would be named after these twelve boys.
Jacob served his father-in-law faithfully, and showed particular skill at breeding livestock. Both Laban and Jacob prospered from the way that God blessed Jacob. In time, though, Laban’s sons became suspicious and jealous of Jacob, and Jacob took his family and his share of the flocks and left one night. Laban caught up with him, they said a more proper good-bye and set a boundary between Jacob’s land and Laban’s.
In the next chapter, Jacob wrestles with an angel before securing a blessing. He then reconciles with his brother Esau, a lesson that we covered in Sunday School during the 2003-2004 school year.

Why is this story important?
First of all, this story was chosen to fit this year’s theme of “Best Friends/Blessed Friends” because it is one of the clearest examples in the Bible of married love. Not only did Jacob fall in love with Rachel quickly, he showed his love for her by working fourteen years in order to be able to marry her. (A new meaning to the slogan, “True love waits!" He was also helpful to her father and family. Although he also married Leah, it was obvious that his special devotion was to Rachel. Even in the later stories about Joseph, it is clear that Jacob’s special bond with his two sons Joseph and Benjamin was because they were the sons of his dear departed wife Rachel.
Secondly, this is a helpful story because it also shows the complications of family life. Now, of course, people only have one spouse at a time, but many students know of “blended families,” and of how there can be hard feelings about trust, jealousy, and issues about who loves whom the most. There is conflict between brothers Esau and Jacob, between sisters Leah and Rachel, trickery and suspicion between Jacob and Laban. In spite of it all, though, God’s will was done!
This leads to the third important point. In this story, we see God’s blessing being passed from one generation to another. Isaac, the boy who was almost sacrificed by Abraham on Mount Moriah becomes the father of Jacob. Jacob, by Rachel, is the father of Joseph who by God’s wisdom helped the people of Egypt prepare for a famine saving not only them, but also Jacob’s family, the people of God. Jacob’s name, by the way, would be changed by God to Israel (see Genesis 32:22-32).

A note about different customs:
Obviously there were different customs in Jacob and Rachel’s time than we have now! The man was married to two of his first cousins at the same time, and had children by both of them, as well as by two of their maids. All of this is stated very matter-of-factly in the Bible with no apologies or judgments. At the time when the world was much less populated, these kinds of customs made sense. Emphasize the love that Jacob had for Rachel, and the ways that God blessed them through that love. If children (especially in the upper grades) ask about the other characters, calmly explain the different customs, and that Jacob was a good husband to Leah, as well, and cared for all of his children.


 

A lesson set by Pastor Ted from: Augustana Lutheran Church

Saint James, MN

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

 

Original Post

Jacob Loves Rachel

Art Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make a “God Bless Our Home” wall hanging, which could also double as a picture frame for a family photo.

 

Scripture Reference:

Genesis 27:41-31:55

Memory Verse:

Love never gives up and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. 1Cor. 13:7

Lesson Objective:

The children will learn that this is one of the clearest examples in the Bible of married love. Jacob married sisters, Leah and Rachel, and had 12 children between them. Jacob had a large family and he loved them all very much. 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Prepare a sample project.

Supplies List:

  • Bible
  • Foam frame for each student
  • Ribbon 31 inches long for each student
  • Butterfly for each student
  • “God Bless Our Home” worksheet to be colored by each student
  • Large sewing needle with large “eye”
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Watercolor markers
  • Copy of Thank You for This Day and Thank You for This Food, books of prayers donated by Thrivent Financial in the church library

Advanced Preparation Requirements:

  • Trace and cut out frames from colored sheets of foam ahead of class time. 


 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Opening Prayer: Dear God, be with us this morning as we talk about homes and families. Families are a gift from God and we thank you for our home and our family. Help us to always love and appreciate them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Say: Today we are going to be learning about a story that happened a long time before Jesus was born. We read about it in the very first book of the Bible called Genesis. I imagine Jesus studied this story when he was a little boy. It’s a story about how a man named Jacob fell “madly in love” with a girl named Rachel and what he had to go through to marry her. (Jacob was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. He also had a twin brother named Esau.)
Jacob left his father’s home to visit his Uncle Laban, who lived quite a ways away, to find a wife. Just before he arrived there, he saw a woman watering sheep by a well. She was very beautiful and I think it was love at first sight. He wanted to marry her but her father, Laban, said that Jacob had to work for him for 7 years before he would let them marry. Her name was Rachel.
When Jacob had worked the 7 years and was ready to marry Rachel, her father switched brides and he ended up marrying her older sister, Leah. Back in those days a younger sister could not marry before an older sister. He was able to fool Jacob because the bride always wore a heavy veil over her face. Jacob was very upset after the wedding so the father said that he could marry Rachel, too, but he had to work another 7 years! However, he got to marry Rachel a week after he married Leah. (Yes, that makes 2 wives, but that happened quite often in the Bible.) Between the 2 wives and their maid servants he had 13 children so that made quite a large family didn’t it. He had 12 sons and 1 daughter. One of those sons was named Joseph, do you remember him? (Yes, the one with the beautiful coat.)
Well, we are celebrating love and families this month. Family members can make the best of friends, too. We are going to make a wall hanging that you often see hung in many Christian homes throughout the world, “God Bless Our Home.”

Distribute art supplies. (You should have an example of a finished project). It’s up to them how they wish to color the letters. Have the motto cut to fit the backside of the frame and tape to frame after the children have colored it. Help the children thread the ribbon through the needle and poke through the top of the frame. Tie a bow. Use the glue gun to attach the butterfly at the lower right hand corner. Suggest to the children that this could possibly be hung on the wall by the dinner table.

If there is time, have the children share with you the table prayer that they say with their family before eating. Other prayers that they say could also be shared. A good source of prayers for young children is, Thank You For This Day and Thank You for This Food, in the church library from Thrivent Financial. I would suggest reading the morning, noon and nighttime prayers on page 8.

Journal Time:

Have them copy a short prayer such as, “Thank you for my family,” in their journal or draw a picture about a wedding: wedding rings, veils or cake, and write, “Jacob and Rachel.” (Leah, too, if they suggest it.)

 

Closing:

Closing prayer: A prayer from the book would be appropriate. May I suggest, “Throughout Today,” on page 6 of Thank You for This Day.
"Dearest Lord, Throughout today, guide my words and work and play,
Bless my friends and family, too, and keep me safe in all I do.
And all God’s children said, Amen."


Resources:

Thank You for This Day by Debbie Trafton O’Neal, 2000 Augsburg Fortress
ISBN 0-8066-4069-3
Thank You for This Food by Debbie Trafton O’Neal, 1994 Augsburg Fortress
ISBN 0-8066-2603-8


 

A lesson written by Kathy from: Augustana Lutheran Church

St. James, MN

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Jacob Loves Rachel
Computer Workshop
Grades K-3

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses the Bibleland.com software. 

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 29:1-30

Memory Verse:
1 Corinthians 13:7 - "Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail." TEV

Lesson Objectives:

  • To hear about Jacob, Rachel, and Leah and their stories.
  • For the children to hear another link in the amazing story of how God’s plan has been revealed and carried out through the ages generation by generation.
  • Life Application – To show the children that God was faithful to His plan despite the interference or doubts from the human element.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.

Supplies List:

  • Baker Book House Co. Bible Basics on CD Rom – Bibleland. com ISBN 0-8010-0276-1
  • Journals and pencils
  • Bible for each student


Lesson Plan


Opening:
Greet each child as they come into the room

Say: This morning we are going to be working at the computers with what truly is a love story. This is a story about a man named Jacob and his love for a beautiful woman named Rachel. When Jacob and Rachel first saw each other by a well one day, it was love at first sight. It took seven years before Jacob and Rachel could finally become husband and wife.

Bible Verse: Let’s say this month’s Bible verse together:
"Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail." 1 Corinthians 13:7 - TEV

Prayer: Before we begin, let’s say our morning thank you to God for being with us here this morning.
“Heavenly Father, Thank you for your precious love for each one of us and for bringing us together today to hear your Word. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.” 

Dig:
Ladies and Gentlemen-let’s get rolling!

  • Open to screen “Welcome to Bibleland.com”
  • Click on “search”
  • Click on “people”
  • Click on “deceivers”
  • Click on “Jacob”


Begin reading – teacher or students.

  • Then, Let’s go back up a ways and click on “Oh Rachel, My Rachel”
  • Now, let’s go back and learn a little more about this story from Rachel’s point of view and how the two of them met.
  • If you click on Sister Saga you will know why I was especially glad!
  • SISTER SAGA
  • Click on Sisters
  • Click on Leah
    Finally, let’s hear this story from Leah’s standpoint. **Go back up and click on “Leah”
  • Click on the Home page again


Question time:

  1. How long did Jacob have to work so he could have Rachel as his wife? [14 years – they were married after the first seven but Jacob promised Rachel’s father, Laban, that we would work for seven more years.]
  2. Was Rachel the oldest daughter? [no Leah was the oldest]
  3. Did Laban tell Jacob the truth about marrying Rachel? [no]
  4. Why did Laban say that Leah had to be married first? She was older than Rachel
  5. How long after marrying Leah did Laban allow Jacob to marry Rachel? One week
  6. How many sons did Jacob have? [twelve]
  7. It doesn’t tell us in the story, but Rachel did have two sons – Joseph and Benjamin.
  8. Who was the Jacob’s favorite wife? Rachel
  9. Leah always felt “second best”. Remember what she said; “God loves you just the way you are. He doesn’t compare you with anyone else in your family. He thinks you are just right being “you.” Do you think He loves you just the way you are? [yes] – Why? {he made each of us}.


Journal Time:
Let’s begin by saying this month’s Bible verse once more and then writing it (or the TLR & Shepherd helping write it) in our journal:

"Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail."
1 Corinthians 13:7

As we found out today, families come in all sorts of sizes and shapes – In the times that Jacob lived, it was OK for him to have two wives. To remember this, draw a picture of what your family looks like. 

Reflection:

Closing prayer: Thank you dear Father for the time that we spend together here today. Help us to remember how important our family is to us and to be kind to them and to love them. In Jesus Holy Name we pray, Amen.


Editor's Note: Bibleland.com CD is long out of print, though many rotation churches may still own it. See the Computer Workshop lessons/ideas thread in this forum for alternate Jacob computer lessons.


A lesson written by Diane from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jacob Loves Rachel
Drama Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Students will use puppets for a role-play.

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55 

Memory Verse:
I Corinthians 13:7 (TEV), “Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will reflect on the complicated relationships in the story of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Laban.
  • Students will look beyond the words of Scripture to try to identify feelings that they might recognize.
  • Students will cooperate by using puppets to role-play the conversation after the wedding of Jacob and Leah.
  • Students will learn that in spite of the complicated and difficult situation, God worked through these people to accomplish God’s good will.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List
:

  • Bible for each student
  • Copies of the “thinking” questions
  • Scratch paper (or journals)
  • Pencils/pens
  • 4 puppets—2 male (Jacob and Laban) and 2 female (Leah and Rachel). It would be good if the “Leah” puppet could have some kind of a heavy bridal veil.


Lesson Plan

Opening:
Welcome the students warmly as they arrive. Say, “Our Bible story this month tells about one of the strangest families in the Bible. Jacob and Laban and Laban’s daughters Rachel and Leah pull all kinds of tricks on each other—and most of them aren’t tricks for fun! We’re going to hear what the Bible has to say about this story, and then see if our puppets can help us to think about what might have been said that the Bible doesn’t tell us. Let’s begin with prayer:
Dear God, we thank you that your will gets done and your love gets known even what families aren’t all that we might wish that they were! Be with us today as we learn more about Joseph, Rachel, Leah, and Laban, so that as we learn how you worked through them, we might see how you might work in us, too. Let all of God’s children say…AMEN. 

Dig:

Context of the Story:
Before we work on today’s story, let’s get a little background about Jacob and his family. Jacob’s grandparents were Abraham and Sarah. You might remember that God spoke to Abraham several times and promised that he and Sarah would be the ancestors of a great country. God would give them land, and would bless the world through their descendents. They were almost a hundred years old before they had a son, however. Does anyone remember the name of Abraham’s son? (Isaac)
When Isaac grew up, he married a woman by the name of Rebecca. They had twin sons—Jacob and Esau. Esau was older by a few minutes, so that meant that he should have received most of their father’s inheritance and blessing. Jacob, though, was pretty sneaky and during some weak moments got his brother to promise that he could have the inheritance. When their father was old and almost blind, Jacob dressed up in his brother’s clothes and pretended that he was Esau so that their father would bless him. When Esau found out what had happened, he was so angry that Jacob was afraid that his brother would kill him. He ran away from town. At the suggestion of his mother, he headed towards the home of her brother, Laban. She said that he might be able to find a good wife there, too!
Jacob, then, was a pretty sneaky character in his own way even before our story begins. Before Jacob comes to Laban’s home in Haran, though, he had a very unusual dream. Let’s read that story in Genesis 28:10-22. (This may be read by the teacher, or by one or more students. If you read it in portions, try 10-15, 16-17, and 18-22).
Let’s review that story. What was Jacob running away from? (his angry brother) What did he see in his dream? (a stairway to heaven, with angels going up and down) What did God promise him? (land, many descendents, and blessing).

Jacob at Laban’s House:
The story for this month begins shortly after that dream that Jacob had. Remember that Laban is the name of his uncle—his mother’s brother. Let’s read about how Jacob first met Laban, and Laban’s daughter, Rachel. Read Genesis 29:1-14. Who was the first one in that family that Jacob met? (Rachel, the daughter). Where did they meet? (near a well) What did Jacob do for her? (Open the well so she could water the sheep; kissed her). What did Rachel do for Jacob? (Ran to get her father).
Jacob quickly fell in love with Rachel. Read Genesis 29:15-20. What did Jacob agree to do for Laban in order to marry Rachel? (Work for seven years). Why did it seem like those seven years were short? (Because he loved her!—v.20).
Jacob was not the only trickster in that household. When the seven years were up, Jacob reminded Laban of the promise, and asked to be allowed to marry Rachel. A wedding was scheduled and planned. The bride was covered with a thick veil so that the bride’s face could not be seen. After the wedding, Jacob found out that he had married Leah instead! Laban had substituted his older daughter, and said that Jacob would have to work another seven years for the right to marry Rachel.

Planning the Puppet Show
The conversation between Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Laban once Jacob realized that he had been tricked into marrying the wrong woman, must have been an interesting conversation! It’s too bad that wasn’t printed in the Bible! Let’s use our imaginations and our puppets to see if we can re-create that conversation.
I will divide our class into four, and assign each of you one of the characters and one of the puppets. I’ll give you some questions to help you think what might have been going through your character’s mind and heart at that moment. If you want to write some things down, that might be a good idea. Then we’ll try to have a puppet conversation between Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Laban.

(Assign roles, pass out pencils and “Thinking Questions” sheets. Circulate among the groups to keep them on task, and see if they have questions. Allow at least 10 minutes for them to work on this part of the project).

The Puppet Show:
Let’s start the puppet show with the moment when Jacob pulls back his bride’s veil, and finds that he’s married Leah! Jacob and Leah, what do you say to each other?

What do Jacob and Laban have to say to each other?

While Jacob and Laban are talking, Leah and Rachel maybe see each other. What would they say to each other?

What do you think Jacob and Rachel would say to one another?

What would Laban say to his daughters after he made them pull this switch on Jacob? What do you think they would say to their dad?

Option: If the students have trouble being spontaneous with this and interacting with one another’s puppets, the teacher might want to take on the role of a TV reporter live on the scene (although, of course, there was no TV then!). Interview the different characters about how they are feeling about what happened at the wedding)

The Rest of the Story…

Thank you for your creativity in imagining how everyone was feeling the night of that surprise wedding. Like I said before, this was one of the strangest families in the Bible. In those days it was considered to be OK to have more than one wife at the same time, but it must have been weird when your two wives were sisters and you obviously love one more than the other!
The Bible tells us the rest of the story, though. Jacob was a good husband to both Leah and Rachel. Between them, Jacob ended up having 12 sons! He worked for Laban for several years and everything that Jacob did seemed to go right. He took care of Laban’s livestock, and the flocks grew. Jacob was able to start his own herds, too. When he left Laban to go back to his home territory, he had a big family and a lot of animals. One night on the way home, he wrestled all night with an angel from God, who blessed him and changed his name to Israel. Ever since then, the Jewish people have been known as the people of Israel. He met with his brother Esau, and they made peace with each other.
There is a little more about Jacob that you should know, too. His wife Rachel had only two sons. The first was Joseph and then, several years later, she had a baby that they named Benjamin. Rachel died, though, giving birth to Benjamin. Jacob was very sad, of course, because he loved Rachel so much. Those two sons became his favorites, because they reminded him of their mother.
Does anybody remember the story of what trouble this caused when his brothers knew how much their father loved Joseph? They ended up selling their brother to slave traders going to Egypt. God used Joseph there, though, to prepare the country for a terrible famine—a famine that led the whole family to Egypt looking for food.
God blessed this crazy family, then. God worked through Jacob, and his son Joseph, to save a lot of people from famine. It is through them and their descendents that a nation was formed—a nation you learned about in September with kings Saul and later David. And, through that family line many generations later, the Savior Jesus was born!
When God could do all that through such a crazy family as Jacob’s, imagine the good that God can do through your family!

Journal Question:
Copy this month’s memory verse into your journal. Then write about this question: How is my family like Jacob’s family? How is my family different? 

Reflection:

Closing Prayer:
Dear God, we thank you for the ways that you worked through Jacob’s family, as strange as it was. Help us to see ways that we might serve and honor you in our family too, in spite of our problems. Bless us so that we can be a blessing to others. May all of God’s children say…AMEN.


"Thinking" Questions--Leah

You will be given a few minutes to get into the character of your puppet character, before the puppets start talking to each other! It may help to re-read today's lesson, Genesis 29:1-30. You may even want to look ahead through the rest of Chapter 29 and skim through chapters 30 and 31.
Some questions are listed below for you to think about to help you understand the character. You can write notes on this page or in your journal if you want to remember something you want to say in the puppet show. Have fun with this!

How have you felt throughout the last seven years seeing the relationship between Jacob and Rachel?

How did you feel being used by your father (Laban) to trick Jacob?

Did you want to marry Jacob?

How did Jacob's reaction when he saw it was you he married make you feel?

What are your hopes for your marriage to Jacob, and for your relationship to your sister?

Thinking" Questions--Rachel

You will be given a few minutes to get into the character of your puppet character, before the puppets start talking to each other! It may help to re-read today's lesson, Genesis 29:1-30. You may even want to look ahead through the rest of Chapter 29 and skim through chapters 30 and 31.
Some questions are listed below for you to think about to help you understand the character. You can write notes on this page or in your journal if you want to remember something you want to say in the puppet show. Have fun with this!

You have been waiting seven years to marry Jacob. How did you feel when Leah got to marry him, instead?

Is it fair that the oldest child had to get married first?

How do you feel towards your dad (Laban) for substituting Leah for you at the wedding?

How do you feel towards Leah for going along with the trick and marrying your boyfriend?

"Thinking" Questions--Laban

You will be given a few minutes to get into the character of your puppet character, before the puppets start talking to each other! It may help to re-read today's lesson, Genesis 29:1-30. You may even want to look ahead through the rest of Chapter 29 and skim through chapters 30 and 31.
Some questions are listed below for you to think about to help you understand the character. You can write notes on this page or in your journal if you want to remember something you want to say in the puppet show. Have fun with this!

Why did you trick Jacob into marrying Leah?

How did you convince Leah to go along with the trick?

How will you explain your actions to your daughters?

How do you really feel about Jacob?

"Thinking" Questions--Jacob

You will be given a few minutes to get into the character of your puppet character, before the puppets start talking to each other! It may help to re-read today's lesson, Genesis 29:1-30. You may even want to look ahead through the rest of Chapter 29 and skim through chapters 30 and 31.
Some questions are listed below for you to think about to help you understand the character. You can write notes on this page or in your journal if you want to remember something you want to say in the puppet show. Have fun with this!

You had worked for seven years for the privilege of marrying Rachel. How did you feel when you found out you had married her sister instead?

How do you feel about your new wife, Leah?

How do you think this will affect your relationship with Rachel?

You know that Laban arranged the trick. Why do you think he did it? What do you want to say to him? 


A lesson written by pastor Ted from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jacob Loves Rachel  

Games/Missions Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses a bible trivia game.

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-55

Memory Verse:
Love never gives up and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. I Cor. 13:7

Lesson Objective:
The children will learn that this is one of the clearest examples in the Bible of married love. They will learn about the complications of family life. Even through all of this conflict and trickery, God’s will is done. His blessing is passed from generation to generation. They will also learn how it feels to be tricked.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List:

  • Bibles for each student –Important note! Please use the RSV translation.
  • Bible Trivia Game
  • Candy prizes for all (Small Snickers Bars?)
  • List of questions for Jacob and Rachel story


Lesson Plan 

Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Opening Prayer: Dear God, be with us this morning as we study your word. Open our hearts so that we may be eager participants in the lesson today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Dig:

Say: Today we are going to be learning about a story that happened a long time before Jesus was born. Do you think it is in the Old Testament or the New Testament? (OT) I imagine Jesus studied this story when he was about your age. It’s a story about how a man named Jacob fell “madly in love” with a girl named Rachel and what he had to go through to marry her. Do you remember who Jacob was? (Son of Isaac and Rebecah, grandson to Abraham and Sarah, twin brother to Esau, father of Joseph, yes, the one with the beautiful coat.) Jacob also had another name. God changed his name to Israel and we have all heard that name before. Jacob had 12 boys and the 12 tribes of Israel were named after these boys.

Let’s read the part of Jacob’s story where he has left his father’s home and is on his way to his mother’s family, his Uncle Laban, to find a wife. We have to go to the first book of the Bible. What is that? (Genesis) Now we need to listen closely because we are going to play a Bible Trivia game after we’re done reading the story. And be sure to listen for the trick that was played on Jacob – a not-so-funny trick. When we finish playing the game, I will have a prize for everyone.
Read Genesis 29:1-30 together. Important ! Please use the RSV translation.

Teacher preparation for Game: We will use the questions prepared for this lesson instead of the questions in the game box. Should you finish the game and have time remaining, please play the game again using the questions from the box and play as written. (Or if the questions about the story do not complete the game, then repeat the story questions making sure they do not get the question they had previously.) The “judgment” cards can be used as the game requires or you can select only the ones you want to use. Select tokens as individuals, or partners, or teams, depending on how many students are in attendance. Determine order of play (shake die, or who has a birthday soon, etc.) Allow each student to have a Bible open to the story they just read. Gen.29:1-30.

Story questions to be used for Bible Trivia Game

  1. What was Rachel doing when Jacob first saw her? tending sheep
  2. How did they water the sheep? water from a well
  3. How many flocks of sheep were lying by the well? Three
  4. Where were the shepherds from? Haran
  5. What was Jacob’s uncle’s name? Laban
  6. When did Jacob first see Rachel? When she came with her flock of sheep to the well.
  7. How did Jacob try to “impress” Rachel? by rolling the heavy stone away from the well
  8. What was the name of Rachel’s sister? Leah
  9. When Jacob worked for Laban, what did he want for his wages? To marry his daughter, Rachel
  10. How long did Jacob agree to work for Rachel? 7 years
  11. Did the seven years seem long for Jacob? No, it seemed like only a few days because of his love for her.
  12. Who did Laban take to Jacob to marry after 7 years?Leah
  13. How did Jacob feel when he found out he had been tricked? angry
  14. Why did Laban say he had to trick Jacob? Younger daughters do not marry before older daughters
  15. What did Jacob have to do to get Rachel as his wife also? Work another 7 years
  16. Did Jacob have to wait seven more years to marry Rachel? No, he had to wait only the bridal week
  17. What was the name of Leah’s servant girl? Zilpah
  18. What was the name of Rachel’s servant girl? Bilhah
  19. Who did Jacob love more? Rachel
    Bonus questions – See who finds it first
  20. How many children did Jacob have in all? Gen.30:21 and 35:23 12 sons and 1 daughter
  21. How many years was Jacob with Laban? Gen.31:38 – 20 years
  22. When did Rachel die? Gen.35:17-20 giving birth to Benjamin
  23. Rachel had one other son, what was his name? Gen.30:23,24 Joseph
  24. How long did Jacob’s father, Isaac, live? Gen.35:28 180 years


If you need more questions, either repeat these or use the Bible Trivia questions in the game box. Continue questioning until you have a winner. If you do not use all the questions, play again. When the game is finished tell them that you were just kidding when you said that you would have a prize for them. Then ask them how they felt when they realized that you had “tricked” them. Ask them if they have ever had a mean trick played on them and how they felt.
Tell them that Jacob had more tricks played on him by Laban that they can read about when they go home. However, Jacob played some tricks of his own when he fooled his own father into giving him the family blessing, when it was his brother who should have received it. Be sure to tell the children that no matter how many tricks people play on each other, God is still in charge and His purpose is fulfilled. The story of Jacob is a long one and they can read more about it at home using their own Bibles.

Thank everyone for playing the game and for coming to Sunday School today.

Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we know people don’t always play by the rules you have given us. Help us to remember it doesn’t feel good when we are tricked or we trick someone else. Help us to play by your rules and do what is right. And all God’s children say Amen.


Resources:

Sempf, Wendy. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lesson On Jacob & Esau: Games Workshop.” 2005 https://www.rotation.org/topic...cob-and-esau---games
Bible Trivia Game
Bible Trivia Game –Cadaco 2003
[Moderator notes: in case your interested in purchasing this game, it appears Cadaco is no longer in business, but I found the game listed under other distributors, I've found a photo of the game so you know what to look for.]


A lesson written by Kathy from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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Jacob Loves Rachel

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will make homemade ice cream.

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55 The story centers on Genesis 29:1-30.

Memory Verse:
“Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 TEV

Lesson Objective:
Jacob worked for a total of 14 years in order to earn the right to marry Rachel. The students will shake a zip-lock bag for 15-25 minutes to make homemade ice cream. This may help them to experience what Jacob might have felt, as he worked and waited to marry the girl he loved. Jacob showed the kind of love that “never gives up!”


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages and the Bible background.  
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List:

  • One each per student: strips of duct tape,
  • 6 Tbsp. rock salt,
  • crushed ice,
  • gallon-size heavy-duty zip-lock bag
  • a pint-size freezer zip-lock bag.)

Ice cream ingredients per student:

  • 1/2 c. half & half
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla. 


Lesson Plan 

Opening:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. 

Opening Prayer: God of love, be with us this morning as we study how to be more friendly and loving in our own families. We pray in Jesus Name, Amen.

Make the Ice Cream: (If the weather permits, the students can take their bags outside to shake or roll them.

  1. Fill the large bag 1/2 full of crushed ice, add 6 Tablespoons course salt.
  2. Into the small bag put 1/2 c. half and half, 1 Tbsp. of sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
  3. Seal the little bag with duct tape and put it into the larger bag.
  4. Start shaking! If the students get tired, they can rest awhile, then shake some more.
  5. After l0 to 25 minutes the ice cream should be ready to eat!


Read the Story: Genesis 29:1-30
While the students are shaking their bags, read the story of Jacob and Rachel from a Children’s Bible. (Take care to choose a version that uses age appropriate language.)
Or tell the story to the children in your own words. Encourage the students to discuss the story and ask questions.

Here are some other questions to talk about while the students are shaking:

  1. What are you thinking about while you are shaking your zip-lock bags?
  2. What do you think would happen if you had get tired of this work and give up?
  3. What do we expect will happen if we don’t give up?
  4. How is shaking these bags like what happened to Jacob in our story? (He worked hard and he waited for a promise.)
  5. In what way might God ask us to show this kind of love in our own family?
  6. How does God “never give up” in His love for you?


Snack-time:
Pass out bowls, spoons, and napkins. Invite the students to pray with you. 

Reflection:
Dear God, thank you for the fun we’ve had this morning with these good friends. Thank you especially for this delicious ice cream. Bless each of our families during the coming week. And all God’s children said AMEN!

Journal Time/Apply the Lesson: Pass out the students’ journals.
Have the younger students draw a picture of what they learned today.

Have the children assist with the cleanup.


A lesson plan written by Kirsten from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jacob Loves Rachel
Movie Workshop
Grades 4-6 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses the DVD "The Bible Collection" by Warner Brothers. 

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55
Story centers on Genesis 29:1-30.

Memory Verse:
1 Corinthians 13:7 - "Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail." TEV 

Lesson Objectives:

  • To show God’s continued faithfulness to his covenant with Abraham that God made in Genesis 22:17 to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.
  • To show one example of true love and the willingness of Jacob to not only wait seven years to marry Rachel but to also work as a slave to Laban for fourteen years to have her as his wife.
  • To show that God is faithful to His promises even though people try to interfere and mess things up. 

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preview the movie.
  • Before class, cue the dvd to Chapter 3 [20:13 minutes] .There are a few issues at 24:50-25:03 with a donkey getting killed while falling of a cliff. I don’t think that will be a problem.
    **Be sure to stop the video at 50:41!** [Stop it after Jacob says something like “my but it’s dark in here” and before the bedroom scene with Leah. It’s not bad, but I don’t think acceptable for a church setting. DM]


Supplies List:

  • DVD – Jacob, “The Bible Collection” by Warner Brothers ISBN 0-7806-4951-5 (in SCS Supply Room) **be aware of starting and stopping points, please.**
  • Bibles –– one for each student
  • Journals and pencils
  • Popcorn and juice

Lesson Plan 

Opening:
Welcome the children to the classroom and introduce yourself.

Let’s start with a word of prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing us together here this morning. Open our ears, our minds, and our hearts that we may learn to know you better by hearing your precious Word. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen”

The Bible verse this month is "Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail." Paul wrote that in 1 Corinthians 13:7. Let’s all say it together. 

Dig: 

Today we are going to learn about a man who worked for fourteen years to marry the woman that he loved. In that time he was a slave to his father-in-law, and even was deceived into marrying his true love’s older sister.

The video begins with a man named Jacob running for his life because he had tricked his brother Esau.

Jacob is the grandson of Abraham and Sarah. He is the younger twin son of Isaac and Rebekah. According to tradition, Jacob’s older brother Esau should have received most of the family’s inheritance, including the birthright and his father’s blessing. Jacob, however, tricked his brother out of both of these benefits. Because his mother Rebekah had overheard Esau threatening to kill Jacob, she told Jacob to make the long journey to live with her brother Laban in Haran. Isaac also blessed Jacob and told him to go live with Laban and take one of Laban’s daughter as a wife. It is at that point that we will start the movie with Jacob basically leaving the home of his parents and fearing for his life.

Let’s keep our Bible verse in mind as we watch the video.

Pass out the popcorn and juice and start the video.

**Be sure to stop the video at 50:41!**

The video will take most of the class time leaving very little room for discussion.

Continue the story verbally:

Read Genesis 29:25-28 TEV (from the Bible) “Not until the next morning did Jacob discover that it was Leah. He went to Laban and said, “Why did you do this to me? I worked to get Rachel. Why have you tricked me?”
Laban answered, “It is not the custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. Wait until the week’s marriage celebrations are over, and I will give you Rachel, if you will work for me another seven years.”
Jacob agreed, and when the week of marriage celebrations was over, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife.

Continue:

Questions:

  • Jacob had deceived Esau but now the shoe was on the other foot and he had been deceived. Who deceived him? {Laban, his father-in-law}
  • Why did Laban say that Leah must marry Jacob? {it was the custom for the eldest daughter to be married first}
  • How long did Jacob work to have Rachel as his wife? {14 years although they were married after the first seven, in Genesis 29:20 it says “Jacob worked seven years so he could have Rachel, and the time seemed like only a few days to him, because he loved her.”} 


Say: Because Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, he was part of the covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 22:17 to make his {Abraham’s} descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Jacob had twelve sons in his lifetime. These twelve sons later became known as the twelve tribes of Israel. And yes, one of Jacob’s sons was named Joseph and owned a very colorful coat.
Another of Jacob’s sons was named Judah. Judah was the tribe that was ancestor to our Messiah. Does anyone know another name for our Messiah? {Jesus}

Journal Time:

First of all let’s repeat the Bible verse together, then write on top of the page:

1 Corinthians 13:7 - "Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail."

Now, write why you think Pastor Ted chose that verse from 1st Corinthians to go with our lesson today from Genesis . . . . .”I think Pastor Ted chose that particular verse from Corinthians for today’s story from Genesis because . . . . . . . .” (there could possibly be room here for some group discussion and a review of how long Jacob waited to marry Rachel; how even though Jacob had been deceived, he still persisted in his desire to have her as his wife. 

Reflection:
“Gracious God, thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know you better today. Help us to have love for others that never gives up and that its faith, hope and patience never fail just as your love for us never fails.” In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen


A lesson from Augustana Lutheran Church.
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jacob Loves Rachel 
Science Workshop  

Summary of Lesson Activities:
The students will design a “Comeback Can”. 

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55 The story centers on Genesis 29:1-30.

Memory Verse:
“Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” I Corinthians 13:7 TEV

Lesson Objective:
Learn that God teaches us to love our family, especially with the kind of love that “never gives up,” and with faith, hope, and patience that never fail. 
Most importantly, teach the students that God’s love for us will never fail. Even when people turn away from God, his love for them does not stop. God never gives up on us.


Teacher Preparation: 

  • Read the Bible Background.
  • Prepare a “Comeback Can” so that you are familiar with the instructions, and understand how everything works. For safety reasons, you may choose to have the holes pre-drilled in the coffee cans and lid. Make sure that the version of the Bible from which the class will read the story of Jacob and Rachel uses acceptable language for this age group.
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List: 

Comeback Can: (Materials listed will make one can. Please have enough materials so that each student can make a Comeback Can.)

  • Metal coffee can with lid, or any other large cylindrical can with a sturdy lid
  • One heavy nut (the kind a bolt goes in), or a rock the size of an egg yolk
  • Long rubber band, paper clip
  • 2 toothpicks
  • Acrylic paints
  • Construction paper
  • School glue
  • Tools: Drill or screwdriver, tape, paintbrush


Lesson Plan

Opening: 
Welcome the children warmly. Invite them to pray with you. Dear God. Thank you for all these friends who are here this morning. Open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to receive your love. In Jesus name, AMEN. 

Dig
Excerpt from the Story of Jacob and Rachel: Genesis 29:15-28
Pass out Bibles to the students. Let the class take turns reading the verses aloud.

Say: Jacob worked patiently for seven years to earn his bride. Then his father-in-law Laban played a trick on Jacob and gave him the wrong bride. Jacob’s love for Rachel was so strong that he was willing to work another seven years to marry her. Today we are going to build a little device that is very persistent, just like Jacob and Rachel in our story. It is called a “Comeback Can.”

Make a “Comeback Can” (p. 40-41, Mad Professor, by Mark Frauenfelder)

How it Works: As you roll the can away from you, the weight causes the rubber band to wind up. This is like winding up a spring-powered toy. When the rubber band starts to unwind, the energy it releases causes the can to return to you, as if it loves you!

Journal Time/Apply the Lesson:
God’s love for us never gives up!
Jacob worked hard and patiently waited for seven years to be able to have Rachel as his wife. Then he found out that he would have to wait even longer. Like the “Comeback Can” you just built, he didn’t give up because he loved Rachel.

Have you ever stopped to think that God loves you that much? David, the psalmist, wrote about God’s unfailing love for humans in Psalm 139:6-12.

Pass out Bibles and journals. Ask the students to turn to Psalm 139:6-12, and take turns reading the passage aloud. And/or read the following paraphrase of these same verses from The Word on the Street, by Rob Lacey:

Say: The author of this Psalm tried to run from God, but found that God would not give up on loving him.

Open your journals. Each of you can fill in the ending to this sentence:
I am running from God when I _____________________________________________ .
(Do something we know is wrong, regularly stay away from church/worship, don’t take time to pray, etc.)

Say: Even then, God always loves us. When we are filled with God’s love, then we can love others, especially our families.

Let’s write our memory verse in our journals too: “Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” I Corinthians 13:7.

Ask: What gift did God give to the world to show the world His love great love for them? (The gift of His Son, Jesus, born to be our Savior.) We’ll learn more about that in December, when we celebrate the wonder of the birth of Jesus. 

Reflection:
Heavenly Father, we come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, your dear Son. Thank you that we could be together this morning to learn the story of Jacob and Rachel, and how their love for each other teaches us that love never gives up. Thank you for your unending love for us. Please fill our hearts with your love, and help us to show love to our families. And all God’s children said, AMEN!


References:

  • Mad Professor by Mark Frauenfelder ISBN 0-8118-3554-5 “Comeback Can” p. 40-41  (directions link removed-no longer active. For online directions do an internet search - you will find several YouTube videos, there are good directions also at https://www.stevespanglerscien...ck-can-sick-science/ where they use a 9-volt battery which you could replace with a nut or rock as suggested in this lesson.}
  • The Word on the Street, by Rob Lacey, Zondervan Publishing, ISBN –310-92268-2

A lesson written by Kirsten from: Augustana Lutheran Church.
St. James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jacob Loves Rachel
Story-Telling Workshop
K-3

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Students will hear the story of Jacob and Rachel. 

Scripture Reference:
Genesis 27:41-31:55
Story centers on Genesis 29:1-30 

Memory Verse:
I Corinthians 13:7 (TEV), “Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.”

Lesson Objectives: Students will:

  • hear about Jacob’s love for Rachel from the perspective of one of the children—perhaps Joseph?
  • learn that Jacob felt that God had directed him to Rachel as a wife
  • identify with some of the stresses in a “blended” family
  • learn that love between a husband and a wife can be a very wonderful thing.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • A copy of the Bible
  • This script (or your notes or memory)
  • If portraying Joseph, a colorful long vest/coat that could be worn as a costume
  • Pencils/journals for each student


Lesson Plan 

Opening:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. 

Open with a prayer. 

Dig:
Introducing the Lesson:
Welcome all the students warmly as they arrive. When they have all gathered, say, “Families come in lots of shapes and sizes, don’t they? Some of you might not have any brothers or sisters, and others may have a lot of them. Some may live with just a mom, or just a dad. Others have both a mom and a dad. Still others might have two sets of parents that they each spend time with, and some maybe live with grandparents. Whenever there are people trying to provide a good, safe, loving home for their children, we can see God working his blessing in that place. God wants each of you to have a loving and safe home, even if your family might look different from some other peoples’ families.
One way that God works to bless families is through the gift of marriage. When a man and a woman promise to be with each other forever as husband and wife, and try to follow God’s will for their marriage, they can be a very special set of friends helping each other through anything that comes. Their friendship and partnership with each other can be a way that God blesses them, and their children, and many other people, too! Today we’re going to hear about a family in the Bible that I’m sure doesn’t look exactly like any of your families. We’re going to hear, though, about a man and woman—a husband and wife—who loved each other very much and how God worked through that special friendship. First, though, let’s begin with prayer.

“Holy God, we thank you for your love for us, and the love that you show us through our families and those who care for us. Be with us today as we learn about the special love that Jacob and Rachel had for one another, and how that became a blessing to others. Let all of God’s people say…AMEN.

“Our guest today is someone that you may have heard about before. He’s quite famous himself in the Old Testament—his name is Joseph. Joseph will tell you a little about his own story, but mostly he’s going to tell you what he remembers about his mom and his dad—Jacob and Rachel. Please help me to welcome “Joseph.”

“Jacob’s Story (Note: Please feel free to “play” with this script, and extemporize as you are comfortable and see fit. If you have been doing the opening, at this point leave the room and come in wearing the multi-colored coat to represent Jacob.

Good morning! Thank you, boys and girls, for that nice welcome. As your teacher told you, my name is Joseph. I am here, though, to tell you the story of my mom and dad—of Jacob and Rachel. My dad, I’m afraid, has a rather bad reputation among some people because he did not treat all of his children equally. I was pretty much his favorite, and it was obvious. That was why my father gave me this beautiful, colorful robe. I wanted to think that he loved me most because I was so great, and so smart, and so good-looking. I know, though, that he loved me most because I reminded him of my mother, Rachel. Most of the other kids in my family were from his other wife, Leah—but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll tell you about all of that later. First of all, I want to tell you about how my mom and dad met each other, and some of the stories that I was told, and the things that I remember.

Have any of you heard stories about how your mom first met your dad? (allow an opportunity to respond). Many moms and dads first meet each other at school, or at a job, or at church, or some other place that they just happen to be—or sometimes friends introduce them to each other. My dad, though, came to where Mom lived on purpose to find a wife!

Part of it was that my dad, Jacob had had a big fight with his brother, Esau, and felt like he had to get away from him. My grandma Rebecca told my dad, “You’re the age where you should get married and settled down, anyway. Go to the town where my brother, Laban, lives. You can live with him for a while, and maybe there you can find yourself a good wife.”

As my father, Jacob, told the story, he was very nervous when he was coming to the area where his uncle Laban lived. After all, they had never even met each other, though Grandma had told him about his Uncle Laban, the big farmer and rancher. He wondered, “How will I find my uncle, and how will I know who the right woman is to marry? What if I can’t find a good wife?” My father said that he stopped and prayed to God. He asked God to guide him. “Help me to find my mother’s family, God. But help me also to discover a woman that can be my wife--someone that I can love, and that will love me as long as we both live. Bless us both, Lord, with the wisdom to find each other.”

Soon after my father Jacob had said that prayer, he came to a well where some shepherds were waiting for others to come before they poured out water for their sheep. My father asked them if they knew someone named Laban, and could tell him how to get to Laban’s farm place. They said, “Sure, everyone around here knows Laban. We could tell you how to get there, but that’s his daughter Rachel that’s just now coming down the road with her sheep. She’d probably be glad to let you follow her home.”

Dad said that as soon as he saw her, he fell in love. To him, no one else could be so beautiful. God must have been playing with his mind, because she was taking care of sheep and had been out in the hot sun all day. I really doubt that she looked too beautiful, or smelled very good, but anyway that’s the way that dad remembered their meeting. He tried to make a big impression on her by taking the very heavy cover off of the well all by himself. Usually several people worked together to open up the well, but he did it all by himself, and then poured out enough water to take care of her flock of sheep.

He told Rachel who he was, and she was so excited that she ran away immediately to tell her parents. Before too long, she came back with Laban who welcomed my dad and insisted that he stay at their farm.

After a while, my dad spoke to Laban and asked if he could get married to his daughter Rachel. Laban didn’t say yes right away. He said, “There are two problems I see here, Jacob. The first is that in our culture the oldest daughter usually gets married before the younger daughter, and my daughter Leah is not yet married. Maybe you’d like to marry her, instead.”

Jacob said, “Leah is very nice, but Rachel is the one that I love. I believe that God intends for Rachel and I to be together. When I prayed for God to guide me to a wife, Rachel was the one God provided. What is the other problem, Laban?

Laban answered, “Well, I don’t really know you that well yet, Joseph. You seem like a good man, but I want to be careful about anyone that my daughter would get married to. I’ll make you a deal. You work for me for seven years, and then we’ll talk about having a wedding.”

Seven years is a long time, isn’t it? How old are you boys and girls? (allow them to answer. They should be around 7 years, plus or minus 1 or 2). That’s about your whole life so far, isn’t it? Do you think that seemed like long time for my father to wait to get married to my mother? I’m sure it was, but he was so happy that he could get married to Rachel, that it seemed like the time went very fast. He worked very hard for Laban. He took care of his flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and the animals were very healthy and productive.

After seven years, my father said that he spoke to Laban, reminding him of the promise. Laban said, “Has it already been seven years? Are you sure? Well, I suppose a promise is a promise. We had better plan a wedding.”

My father was so excited! The day of the wedding was perfect, and the bride came down the aisle dressed in a beautiful dress, with a very heavy veil covering her face. In these days a lot of brides don’t even wear veils over their faces, or if they do they are very flimsy so you can see right through them. That wasn’t the case back then. The groom wasn’t supposed to see the bride at all until the wedding was over, so you could not see through her veil! After the bride and the groom exchanged their vows and were declared to be husband and wife, Jacob pulled back the veil and was shocked to see that he had just married Rachel’s sister, Leah!

My dad was very upset! Laban had tricked him. Laban said, “Hey, I told you that the oldest daughter must get married first. No one else had asked to marry Leah, so you got her.” What do you think of that? Was that fair to Jacob, or to Leah, or to Rachel? (allow children to respond)

In your day and man or a woman could get in big trouble if they were married to more than one person at the same time. Back in those days, though, that was thought to be OK, so Laban said, “Be a good husband to Leah. If you also want to marry Rachel, I’ll let you marry her, too.” So, after about a week or so, there was another wedding and my father and mother married each other.

If some of you or some of your friends live in blended families with step-parents or step-brothers and step-sisters, you know that there are good things about it, but it can also be kind of confusing about who is in charge. Family members sometimes argue about who loves whom the most! Imagine if all of the family lived in the same house all the time. That’s what life was like in my household. Leah had a lot of sons, but for many years I was Rachel’s only child.

Then, something wonderful and horrible happened at the same time. My mother, Rachel, had another baby boy. My brother Benjamin was born. He was healthy, and it was wonderful to have a full brother of my own. Something happened, though, as he was born and my mother, Rachel, died! We were all so sad, but I think it was the very hardest on my dad. He had loved her so very, very much.

Aunt Leah became my full-time mom, then, and she was very nice. She and my dad got along fine, and dad was good to all of his boys. It became obvious, though, that he had a special bond to Benjamin and me because we reminded him of our mother. My stepbrothers didn’t like that one bit, and got angry when my dad bought this special, beautiful coat especially for me.

My attitude didn’t help either, I don’t suppose. God had given me the ability to know what dreams meant, and I told my brothers that I had some dreams where they were all bowing down to me, like they were my servants. They thought I considered myself better than them. It also didn’t help that I was kind of a tattletale. I told my dad when my brothers were being lazy, or doing things that they shouldn’t be doing.

Finally, one day they did something absolutely awful to me. They sold me to some slave traders going to Egypt, and they told my father that a wild animal had killed me! That leads to a long, long story that we don’t have time for now, but it has an important ending. God used me when I was in Egypt to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh, the king, and to predict seven years of time without rain, when no crops would grow. I got put in charge of storing grain while the crops were good, so that when the crops failed no one would starve. I have to believe that this was part of the way that God blessed the world through the love that my mom and dad—Rachel and Jacob—had for each other.

I hope that some day, when you grow up, you boys and girls might pray the way that my dad did and ask God’s help in finding the right person to be your husband or your wife, so that you can know God’s blessing through that very special kind of friendship called marriage.

Review/Application

Thank you for being good listeners! Let’s review a little bit and think about the story that we just heard.

Who remembers how Rachel and Jacob first met? (Jacob prayed for guidance, met Rachel at the well as she came to water her flock of sheep)
What do you think Jacob thought when he pulled back the wedding veil and saw that he had just married Leah, instead of Rachel?
How did Jacob and Rachel’s son, Joseph, help a lot of people? (Prepared Egypt for years without rain or crops by storing food)
How is your family like the family that Joseph grew up in? How is it different?
“Joseph” talked about God blessing him and others through his parents. Have you ever thought about the love that your mom and dad have for you as part of the love that God has for you, since God takes care of you through their love and care? That’s something important to think about!

Journal Time:
Copy this month’s memory verse into your journals. Then, draw a picture of your family. Draw a cross over your family as a reminder that God’s love is with you in your family. 

Reflection:

Closing Prayer:
Dear God, we thank you for the love that Jacob and Rachel had for each other, and the way that you used their love, through Joseph, to help many people. Be with each of us, with our parents and our families, so that we can help others, and be examples of your love. Let all of God’s children say…AMEN.


A lesson written by Pastor Ted from: Augustana Lutheran Church.
St. James, MN 

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David Kimsey
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